Toggle menu

Education Bulletin - 3 July 2020

Education Bulletin Promotional Banner

Updated 3 July 2020

Important contact details

Daily attendance returns by 1.00pm each day

Children's Service general queries

General Covid-19 queries to the Local Authority


Message from Judith

Dear colleagues

Clearly the news of the day is the release of the September guidance and the address by the SoS. We have established a planning group for September and as you know we asked for representatives through the Bulletin. We have a few headteachers, two LA officers and a MAT CEO involved. More colleagues are welcome although we recognise that it won't be helpful if the group rises above 10-15 people. The intention is to create an online manual/handbook for schools interpreting the guidance, considering models and options to open with safety in mind, reflect on what has worked to date, give links to up to date guidance that schools can access confidently, examine the risks, signpost to useful resources and promote evidence based good practice. We know there are risks we cannot yet quantify beyond the safe practice issues: for example, the management of mandatory attendance (without fines apparently at this stage), increased numbers of COVID cases, how schools will manage behaviour in a trauma informed way, if more parents choose elective home education - it will be a long list. We're not aiming to prescribe but hope we can create something that until December 2020 at least will be available for current 'go to' advice in one place.

The summary of the September guidance is as follows:

  • Expectations that kitchens will be fully open and normal legal requirements will apply about provision of food to all pupils who want it, including for those eligible for benefits-related free school meals or universal infant free school meals. School kitchens can continue to operate, but must comply with the guidance for food businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • When timetabling, groups should be kept apart and movement around the school site kept to a minimum. While passing briefly in the corridor or playground is low risk, schools should avoid creating busy corridors, entrances and exits. Schools should also consider staggered break times and lunch times (and time for cleaning surfaces in the dining hall between groups).

The most general points on the return to schools are as follows:

  • Attendance at school will be mandatory from the start of the new term in September, including children with SEND
  • Contact between children will continue to be minimised, including through the use of bubbles and encouraging older children to continue social distancing.
  • As a minimum, whole year groups in schools will be kept separate
  • Regular cleaning and hand washing will continue

It is worth looking at the transcript of the address and questions in the House today. This provides more detail and also where answers are not yet forthcoming.

Hopefully you also saw that yesterday the guidance was published regarding what happens if there is a local lockdown situation such as in Leicester. This was sent to schools in the Leicester area and I'm expecting some feedback from my network on how they have experienced this situation: it is not currently an issue for Plymouth but it could occur anywhere so LAs will try to learn from each other.

Take care, stay safe



NQT induction

We have written to all schools today setting out details of our NQT induction package for academic year 2020-21. We work with care to support schools and NQTs through this process and we hope that you will find this support suitable for your school.  In light of ongoing COVID19 restrictions we will be providing an updated NQT training programme of training, moving all our training online, and we will be adding interactive hub meetings for both NQTs and NQT mentors.

Full details of the training on offer will be sent to schools early in September 2020 alongside the information pack for all NQTs and NQT Mentors.  In order for us to ensure that both NQTs and NQT mentors receive the information they need early, please can you provide us with the names and email addresses of both NQTs and mentors who will be on your school staff next September, by Friday 10 July. This is also the deadline for all final and end of term NQT assessments. School details and assessments should be sent via email to


2020-21: KS1 & 2 statutory assessment update

The Standards & Testing Agency have today confirmed that statutory assessment in the primary phase, including end of KS1 and KS2 moderation will take place in 2021.

Training for local authority moderation managers and lead moderators will be delivered remotely in January. In recognition of the potential additional burden on local authority and school staff due to the unprecedented circumstances of 2020, the usual approach to standardisation exercises will be suspended for 2021 and STA approval to moderate will be granted to those approved moderators 2019-20. The local authority will make contact with moderation teams in September to confirm moderation arrangements.

All STA teacher assessment guidance is scheduled to be published in October 2020, and the local authority will provide training for teachers in years 1, 2 and 6 during spring 2021, although this may be delivered virtually - we will confirm details during the autumn term. Anyone seeking further clarification regarding statutory assessment should contact:


Guide for secondary PSHE leads: supporting transition and Y6-7 Sex & Relationships Education

Primary schools usually cover NC Sex & Relationships Education during the summer term, but many children may have missed this on account of the COVID19 lockdown. Therefore, this is an area that secondary schools may wish to include in Y7 PSHE/RHSE education to ensure that young people do not miss out on important messages to help them through life. 

Schools wishing to discuss further should contact:  


See Hear Respond

See Hear Respond is a new service developed to fill the widening gap for children and young people during COVID-19. From June to October 2020 it will work with schools and other agencies to find those children who are hidden from view; who are not receiving support currently from statutory organisations and those who are at risk and/or experiencing adverse impact to their health and wellbeing. Please see the attached flier for more details of how to engage with this project.


Latest Government updates

Stay Home If Unwell Promotional Banner

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email